Texas Governor Signs CROWN Act into Law, Prohibiting Discrimination on Basis of Hair Texture

by Xara Aziz
A stunning portrait of a young black supermodel with an afro hairstyle exuding elegance.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has officially signed H.B. 567, the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural (CROWN) Hair Act, in law. The new legislation was designed to protect citizens from hair discrimination and specifically lists “braids, locks and twists” as hairstyles deserving protection.

The CROWN Act amends Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code to prohibit discrimination “on the basis of hair texture or protective hairstyle commonly associated with race” with an emphasis on “hairstyle[s] commonly associated with race,” which cover styles including afros, cornrows, bantu knots and high-top fades, among others.

The Act will go into effect in September and “applies to employers, labor unions, employment agencies, public schools, and institutions of higher education,” according to a Lexology report. “Currently, there are no cases that challenge the CROWN Act in the employment context.”

The news comes on the heels of Minnesota’s recent passing of the CROWN Act in January.

“In Black culture, our hair is extremely important and it means a lot to us. However, over the course of time, we have been told that it’s not good enough. It’s traumatizing. So, the CROWN Act is a step in the right direction,” Destiny Owens, founder and owner of True Essentials Consulting, told Valley News Live.

Seven-year-old Mya Williamson, a published author, echoed Owens’ sentiments, adding that “I want everyone that’s listening to this right now to feel that they’re appreciated. I don’t want them to feel bad about themselves when someone says we don’t want your natural hair in the world. They have to accept who they are.”

Mya is popular in the Minnesota area for her books that advocate for freedom of expression, self-love and peace for all. Her mother, Briana Williamson, says she is thrilled the state has decided to pass this monumental act.

Your hair is your crown!” Mya exclaimed.

“Right. So, it’s this idea that what makes you feel the most you is your ability to shape and shift through your hair and show that outward expression,” Williamson responded.

Owens says the CROWN Act is a step in the right direction for Black and Brown men and women to appreciate and love the way they are.

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